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Projected Formations: Roma v. Entella

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Roma starts 2019 minus some key players in the Coppa Italia and a tough XI to project.

AS Roma v Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Champions League Group G Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Roma has some key players missing from the squad. Unless you’ve been under a rock the last two months, you most certainly have. Unfortunately, after getting many key players back from injury around New Year’s, the squad again has some key players out as Virtus Entella comes to town in the Coppa Italia.

Kostas Manolas, Stephan El Shaarawy, Steven N’Zonzi, Daniele De Rossi, and Antonio Mirante are all out for tomorrow’s Coppa Italia match. Meanwhile, Alessandro Florenzi is questionable, as well. All of those absences, plus the fact that this is a cup match against a lower division side, make this a very difficult starting XI to project.

Normally, this would be a match to get the back up keeper some minutes. But with Mirante sidelined, Robin Olsen will start in net. With Florenzi’s status unknown, it’s almost assured that Davide Santon will start at right back. Opposite him at left back, youngster Luca Pellegrini is projected to start. In the middle Federico Fazio seems like a lock, but who starts next to him seems to be up in the air. Some reports project that Juan Jesus will start with Fazio in a traditional center back pairing. However, some seem to think EDF will go a bit more unorthodox and start Aleksander Kolarov in the middle.

With De Rossi and N’Zonzi both unavailable for this match, it looks like Lorenzo Pellegrini will slide into the double pivot next to Bryan Cristante. The front line, much like the back, looks like a crap shoot. EDF already said that Edin Dzeko and Patrik Schick each have a 50/50 shot at starting. Whoever he chooses to start behind them, should feature Cengiz Ünder with either Justin Kluivert or Diego Perotti on the opposite wing. Meanwhile, depending on which report you read either Nicolo Zaniolo or Javier Pastore could start at the trequartista position.

With so much variability in this week’s projections, I’m going to throw two projected formations at you. The first is from goal.com and the other from gianlucadimarzio.com. As you’ll see below, the only constants between the two are Olsen, Santon, Fazio, Luca and Lorenzo Pellegrini, Cristante, and Ünder, which means four spots seem up for grabs.

ROMA (4-2-3-1):

Olsen; Santon, Fazio, Kolarov, Lu. Pellegrini; Cristante, Lo. Pellegrini; Under, Zaniolo, Perotti; Dzeko.

Olsen; Santon, Fazio, Juan Jesus, Lu. Pellegrini; Cristante, Lo. Pellegrini; Under, Pastore, Kluivert; Schick